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Carport Regulations In NSW – Top 10 Questions Answered

Carport Regulations in NSW – Top 10 Questions Answered

Just as landscaping improves the aesthetic appeal of a property’s outdoor space, carports can also enhance the overall look of a home and its street scape. Most of all, they offer a car owner protection for their vehicle from the harsh Australian elements, whilst increasing the value of their house.

Building a carport structure is a relatively easy and affordable process. There are, however, building regulations and council requirements that you should be aware of as you engage the services of a carport specialist.

The following common questions will shed some light on the carport regulations in NSW and offer the information you need to ensure a seamless construction process.

1. Do I need a building permit or council approval to build a carport in NSW?

Generally speaking, if your carport adheres to the building regulations of the respective council, and complies with all the specific development standards in the policy, there is no requirement for a building permit or building approval.

Carports are typically an exempt development. Exempt structures have minimal impact on their area of development and satisfy the criteria set out in the Building Code of Australia.

If your future carport is on a heritage listed property or in a foreshore area, then a building permit is mandatory. It’s also worthwhile remembering that council permits may be necessary if any trees or vegetation will be impacted by the installation of your carport. Permits from the Roads and Maritime Services will also be required for any new driveway built to access the carport.

Further information and guidelines can be found on the Department of Planning and Environment, your local council website and quality carport installers.


Construction worker in business suit

2. Are there cases when carports are not allowed in NSW? 

Some of the criteria that may restrict the construction of carports include:

  • Where the property is less than eight metres in width.
  • There is no vehicle access via a secondary road, (not a primary road).
  • The property has an unusual shape. For example, a battle axe block can restrict where a carport can be placed.

3. How many carports can I build on my NSW


A carport is considered to be a Class 10a building in NSW, which means it is a non-habitable building. Only one is permitted per one residential structure. If there are two dwellings on that single lot, then the regulation states that two carports or a double carport may be built.

4. Can I build a carport anywhere on my property?

There are specific planning considerations when deciding where to build a carport. Carports must be installed at least 1 m behind the building line facing the road.

If in a heritage conservation area, carports are legislated to be built in the rear of the property only. It is best to consult your local council or building specialist for further information regarding this.

The location of carports on battle-axe blocks must allow vehicles to exit the site in a forward-facing direction.

5. How close to the boundary line can I build a carport in NSW?

Just as there are setback and boundary rules for building a dwelling, garage or fence, there are specific factors relating to carports as well.

A carport must have a setback of:

  • At least 5 m from any property boundary line in zones RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4, RU6, R5.
  • At least 900 mm in any other zone.
  • The roof structure of the carport must be setback at a minimum of 500 mm from any lot’s boundary line.


Cars under 3 car garage carport

6. Do I need council approval to enclose a carport?

In NSW, you will need council approval to enclose a carport depending on the specific circumstances of your property as well as the local council regulations.

Usually, enclosing a carport involves a change in the use of the structure and this may require approval from council. The council will consider factors such as the size and location of the carport, the materials to be used in the enclosure, and the impact on the surrounding environment and neighbourhood.

It is important check with your local council to determine the specific regulations and requirements for enclosing a carport.

7. What is the maximum size allowed?

There are certain height and size specifications for constructing a carport. Your carport installer should ensure the design adheres to the following details:

1. The floor area of a carport must not exceed:

  • 20 m2 on plots that have an area of 300 m2 or less.
  • 50 m2 for plots larger than 300 m2 in residential zone R5 and in rural zones.
  • 25 m2 for lots that are larger than 300 m2 in all other remaining zones.

2. The carport must be a maximum of 3m in height above ground level. When attached to a single level dwelling, it must not be higher than the roof gutter.

3.  It’s not enough to have just one side open. A minimum of the carport’s two sides and one-third of it’s total perimeter must be open.

8. What standards are required for carport construction?

As an exempt development, carports need to be made of sturdy and approved components to ensure cars or other vehicles are well protected. Some councils may also have certain requirements as to the appearance of the carport and what materials are used.

Steel, brick or timber are all popular choices for carport designs and build. If the carport is made from metal it needs to be precoloured and low-reflective.

When in areas susceptible to bushfires, the materials used must be non-combustible and not more than 5 m away from the dwelling.

9. What other development standards apply?

There are other considerations to think about when organising your carport construction. These comprise the following factors:

  • The water collected on the carport’s roof must be removed via an existing stormwater drainage system.
  • The carport should not hinder vehicle access or impact existing car parking.
  • When connecting the carport to the main building, it is imperative to follow engineering specifications.

10. Can carports be built as a complying development?

If your carport falls outside of the exempt development criteria, it can be built as a complying development, either as an attached or detached structure.

As a complying development, carports can only be built on dwellings zoned residential R1, R2, R3, R4 and RU5 that measure at least 200 m2 with a minimum width of 6 m. The maximum height for a detached carport is 4.5 m above ground level.

If your property is less than 8 m wide, a carport can only be built if the vehicle access stems from a secondary and not primary road.

Need help planning and building a carport in NSW?

If you’re a homeowner and you’re considering adding a carport to your property, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right builder. The team at Correct Constructions has built a solid reputation as the leading carport builder in NSW. Benefit from our quality work and unmatched experience and add value to your home.

Get in touch with us here today or call us directly on 0458 888 178.

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